Chronological Tour: Stop 242

Joe O達rien Field

Entrance to Joe O達rien Field, Jul-2003.

There痴 no cover here unless you're in one of the press boxes.

The distant outfield fence doubles its height in dead center field.

Quick Facts: Rating: 2 baseballs

Joe O達rien Field was built in 1974, just a block away from the Watauga River, which is generally calm except when they open the dam upstream to generate hydroelectric power. The field was named after O達rien, a longtime supporter of Elizabethton baseball and the E-Twins first board chairman, in 1980.

The ballpark is surrounded by a wooden fence, much like parks of old. In center field (414 feet away), the height of the wall doubles to 16 feet for a stretch not that many Appalachian League players will put one out to straightaway center.

In 1996, significant upgrades were made to the ballpark, including new locker rooms and a new reserved seat section behind the plate the only comfortable seating in the ballpark. Everything else is aluminum bleachers or, in a few spots in the main grandstand along first base, bare concrete. The dual press boxes flank the reserved section on the first and third base sides.

On the scoreboard (an Electro-Mech model appearing to date to 1974), the visiting team error total no longer worked, so they kept the home team error total on zero. (Each team made four errors in the game I saw, in July 2003.) In addition, the number of the player at bat was frozen. The board had been replaced by a functioning Varsity Scoreboards model by my 2017 visit.

Also in 2017, the City of Elizabethton announced that they were going to help fund renovations to the ballpark, including new clubhouses for both teams that would bring the facility up to Minor League Baseball standards. Additional improvements may, or may not, take place to upgrade the bleachers, depending on how much money is left over.

Game # Date League Level Result
596 Sat 12-Jul-2003 Appalachian R ELIZABETHTON 14, Bristol 3
1594 Fri 25-Aug-2017 Appalachian R ELIZABETHTON 12, Bristol 1
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This page updated 25-Aug-2017